Promises made, promises broken
“In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.” President Donald Trump, United Nations speech, Sept. 25, 2018
When President Trump made that claim at the United Nations, delegates from around the world laughed at him. Why? Because they live in the real world. Let’s check to see if Trump has kept the promises he made. There isn’t room for all his failures, but here are some of the most flagrant.
Border wall — Trump started his 2016 campaign by calling Mexican immigrants criminals. He promised to build a border wall and promised, repeatedly, that Mexico would pay for it. His crowds loved chanting “Mexico” when asked who would pay.
As of September, none of the wall, as Trump described it, has been built. What has been done is maintenance, replacement and upgrading of existing physical barriers, with very little new construction. And Mexico made it clear they will never pay for the wall. We American taxpayers are paying for whatever is done. The border wall was the crown jewel of Trump’s election platform, and it remains a fantasy.
Health care — During the campaign, Trump repeatedly promised a better, cheaper health care plan. At one point, he said the plan would be revealed in a few weeks. After the election, no plan was released, even as Republicans tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act, with no replacement.
On June 16, 2019, Trump again announced he would present a health plan.
“We’re going to produce phenomenal health care, and we already have the concept of the plan. …We’ll be announcing that in two months, maybe less.”
As of now, not only has no plan been presented, but Trump seems to have forgotten he even promised it. In the meantime, Republicans still work to remove health care from millions of Americans.
Deficit and debt — On March 31, 2016, Trump promised to pay off the national debt.
“We’ve got to get rid of the $19 trillion in debt. … Well, I would say over a period of eight years.”
President Barack Obama had reduced the annual deficit to $438 billion. Trump and the Republicans have increased it to $896 billion in three years, and it’s projected to grow to $1 trillion a year and more, exploding the national debt. Republicans seem incapable of managing our nation’s money.
Iraq and Afghanistan — Trump criticized Obama for not getting us out of these long-lasting wars. Trump has not only not ended these wars, he’s increased the number of American troops in Afghanistan from 8,400 when he took office to 14,000 now.
Taliban — Trump has not only not destroyed the Taliban, he invited them to Camp David for a meeting. Imagine if Obama had extended such an invitation. The Taliban is the terrorist group who sheltered al-Qaeda in Afghanistan while al-Qaeda planned the 9/11 attacks on America. On Sept. 8, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., tweeted, “Camp David is where America’s leaders met to plan our response after al Qaeda, supported by the Taliban, killed 3,000 Americans on 9/11. No member of the Taliban should set foot there. Ever.” For once, I agree with Ms. Cheney.
ISIS — Trump promised he would destroy ISIS. When he took office, ISIS was being pushed out of Syria; it ultimately lost its caliphate, which is good. However, ISIS isn’t destroyed. It still has an estimated 18,000 members, who are still committing terrorist attacks.
Iran — Trump criticized Obama for the Iran nuclear agreement, signed by Iran, the U.S. and five other countries. Iran was complying with the terms. Trump pulled America out of the agreement, leaving Iran free to develop a nuclear bomb.
Now Trump is attempting to renegotiate the Iran nuclear deal with similar terms. If he succeeds, the treaty would be as it was before Trump took office, and the world much safer.
Tax cuts — Trump promised a tax cut, and this is the only promise he’s kept, signing a major tax cut in December 2017. Unfortunately, most of the benefits went to major corporations and the already rich. Trump promised an extra $4,000 in average Americans’ pockets. I haven’t heard of very many people who got that dividend. So, the tax cut promise was kept. The promised results failed.
For good or bad, Trump has kept few of his promises and accomplished very little. The laughter at the U.N. shows how the world views Trump. He’s a clown with his finger on the nuclear button, both ridiculous and unimaginably dangerous.
Jeanette Strong, whose column appears every other week, is a Nevada Press Association award-winning columnist. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.